2. Douglas DXF 10’6” 5-weight $425.00
Your new trout switch winner by default – The Douglas DXF! The DXF series has been a favorite of ours since we first tested it in our 2015 9’ 5-weight shootout. We were happy to see that the trend of excellent design, terrific performance, and a reasonable price continues with the 10’6” 5-weight switch rod. The DXF looks and performs like a rod that should cost twice as much as it does.
At only 7.3 ounces, the DXF has the second lightest swing weight in the test, following the Orvis Helios 2. You can easily high stick this rod all day without over tiring your arm, enabling you to get incredibly long and perfect drifts out of the drift boat. It is also feels light and easy to cast, even with a heavy indicator rig.
The DXF blanks are finished in a tasteful matte forest green color with matching dark green wraps over hard chrome stripper and snake guides. Easy assembly alignment dots are used. The anodized aluminum up-lock reel seat isn’t too fancy but the two lock rings secure the reel adequately. The cork handle has a nice shape and the quality of the cork is very good. A Cordura cover hard case and cloth bag are included.
Now that the Orvis H2 switch rod has been discontinued, this is the nicest trout switch rod we’ve found on the market, and at $425 it’s a great bargain!
Very light in the hand, only the Orvis H2 felt lighter. Fast action but a tad bit slower than the H2. Significantly faster faster action than the St. Croix Imperial, Beulah Platinum, and Redington Dually. Good recovery and plenty of power to set the hook. Reel seat, cork and components are nice enough but not in the same ball park as the Orivs H2, Winston Micro Spey, T&T DNA, or Custom Flywerks.
Best Mid-Priced trout switch outfit:
Douglas DXF 10’6”#5 with a TFO 325 reel
sub total: $915.80
<less free line> <$99.95>
Free ready to fish rigging –
No Tax –
Grand Total: $825.00
The Douglas DXF series has long since been a favorite of our since we saw how well it performed in our 5-weight shootouts. It is our favorite mid-priced rod in the 9’#5, and also our pick for the best mid-priced trout switch rod. Now that the Orvis Helios 2 has been discontinued, we feel the DXF is not only the best mid-priced trout switch rod, but it is also the best performing trout switch rod on the market.
This rod is exceptionally light both in terms of overall weight and swing weight. Of all 17 two-handers we cast, only the Hardy Jet was lighter. With the DXF’s light yet powerful construction, this rod means business and brings a formidable game without an overbearing price tag.
The cork grip on the DXF is a nicer quality than other rods in its price range, and significantly nicer than less expensive trout switch rods. We like the matte green blank color and the matching green thread wraps over the snake foot style guides. While not overly fancy, the aluminum up-lock reel seat functions well.
We matched all of our mid-priced outfits with a Temple fork Outfitters 375. We love this reel because it is extremely burly and durable for the price, and also we love the way we can spin up this reel. Like spinning skateboard wheel and watching it go, this reel is second to none when it comes to flicking the handle or slapping the face of the reel and watching it spin while picking up your running line in a hurry. For the money, the 375 is one of our all time favorite switch and spey reels.
Again we went with the Rio intouch WF-5-F line as the perfect match. You’ll be able to turn over an indicator, even in harsh wind, and still be able to stack mend down the river.
No need for Hatch backing in this case, as the TFO 375 wide spool has plenty of backing capacity. Save your money and go with regular 20 pound dacron backing instead.
Last but not least, our own hand tied nymph leader tied with stiff butt sections for better turnover while utilizing a long knotless section of 20 pound, to allow for easy bobber adjustment.